Artist Opportunity with Leeds Creative Labs: Smeaton300 edition

Artists and people working in the creative industries based in West Yorkshire are invited to apply to Creative Labs: Smeaton300 edition.

Leeds Creative Labs is a ground-breaking programme delivered by the Cultural Institute that pairs creative professionals with researchers from the University. The programme provides funding, inspiration, opportunities and above all, the co-creative space to share ideas and experiences without deadlines and targets.

Since 2012, over 100 pairs of artists and researchers have come together, working across all disciplines and artforms. The programme provides a space for participants to collaborate and explore ideas, in an interdisciplinary way, without the pressure of delivery against targets. In the past, hip-hop dancers have collaborated with economists, ballet choreographers with Biochemical engineers, and visual artists with astrophysicists.T

The Smeaton300 edition of Leeds Creative Labs brings together researchers from the School of Civil Engineering with artists and creative industries professionals as part of the national creative events programme Smeaton 300.

Applications from artists or people working in the creative industries are invited to explore one or more of the Smeaton300 themes:

  • Inspired by Nature –  Smeaton harnessed elements like water, wind, and air, earning the Copley Medal for his work on renewable off-grid technology.
  • The Art of Engineering –  Smeaton’s work was interdisciplinary in nature, this theme will be looking at how partnerships among engineers, artists, scientists, and designers can be found everywhere.
  • Find Our Way Home – Smeaton’s contributions to bridges, waterways, lighthouses, and navigation instruments highlight civil engineering’s role in navigation, mapping, and migration.
  • For the Public Good – Smeaton was an ethical employer, providing fair treatment, sick pay, and medical coverage for injured workers. He prioritised public good over personal profit.

The deadline for artist applications is midnight on 23 February 2024.

The match between researchers and arts professionals will be made by a panel of engineering and cultural professionals, based not only on the participants’ thematic interests, but also on their shared sense of curiosity and ambition to explore ideas without limits. Pairings will then have six weeks to work together across three days and invited to speak at a public event to share their experiences at the end of the programme.

  • Closing date for artists: 23 February 2024
  • Who is it for: Artists and Creatives from the West Yorkshire Region
  • When is it: April to June 2024
  • Fee: £1,250

If you’re interested in applying to Creative Labs Smeaton Edition, find out more at the Cultural Institute here.

Smeaton300 is a Foxglove project by Abby Dix-Mason and Jane Earnshaw. Smeaton300 x University Of Leeds is a Foxglove partnership led by the Cultural Institute and the School Of Civil Engineering.